The traditional “bank draft” or “certified cheque” has been the mainstay of the real estate industry for deposits, and for lawyers completing closings.
Right now, it’s problematic. Someone has to:
- Physically, write it out
- Physically, take it to the Bank for certification
- Physically, attend the Bank to order it
- Physically, receive it after it has been physically handled by two Bank employees
- Physically, place it in and envelope for delivery
- Physically, transfer it to a courier for delivery
Then on the receiving end, someone has to:
- Physically, receive it
- Physically, open the envelope
- Physically, deliver to another person in the office
- Physically, take it to the Bank
- Physically, deliver it to the Bank employee
Now, we have finally transferred the funds.
One cheque, that physically was handled by at least seven people and possibly more was the method chosen. In terms of spreading germs, this is not a good practice if it can be avoided.
This method of transferring funds is immediate and accurate and safe particularly when it came to the COVID -19 virus.
What’s the problem?
Not every Brokerage and law firm is set up to transact business in this manner.
We could amend the deposit clause to read:
“The Buyer shall pay the deposit by wire transfer.”
And, the Balance clause to read:
“The Buyer agrees to pay the balance of the purchase price, subject to adjustments, to the Seller on completion of this transaction, with funds drawn on a lawyer’s trust account in the form of a wire transfer using the Large Value Transfer System.”
The “problem” here is one of “old school” customs. Brokerages and law firms should make immediate arrangements with their Banks to participate in large fund transfers.
Individual buyers could easily either make these arrangements themselves with their Banks or transfer sufficient funds to their Buyer Brokerage, so that they will be able to complete the transfer on their behalf, on a timely basis.
Right now, many individuals would have a $1,000.00 daily limit on transfers. If they had to come up with a deposit of $20,000.00, that would take 20 days. That certainly wouldn’t work well when deposits are expected to be paid forthwith, that is:
1) herewith (with the Offer) or
2) upon acceptance (with 24 hours).
This approach is really the preferred practice for the future, and the future is NOW!
Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker